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NAVIGATION

Rochester's Mystery Beast Proving To Be Elusive Catch
mystery creature
Published: 8:26 AM - 05-12-11

Gwen Byrd has hung up a reward poster at her home for the capture of "Dimples," an unidentified animal Byrd said she first saw near her house three years ago.

Steel traps are poised for its capture. A "wanted" poster hangs on Rochester homeowner Gwen Byrd's side door.

The sign says Byrd's offering a $7 reward for the capture of "Dimples," a fearsome-looking unidentified animal Byrd said she first saw near her house three years ago.

Is there really a reward? No."

I just really want this thing out of here," she said, smiling wearily while looking at the traps left by University of Rochester researchers who want to study and identify Dimples.

Dimples hasn't been caught yet.

Cooler temperatures since the first sighting have kept Dimples underground, and out of the traps, Byrd said, and with warmer weather here, Byrd expects another Dimples sighting soon.

In the meantime, Byrd said she's discovered Dimples has a partner.

Byrd's friend Greg Payne of Rochester said he saw it when he came over to the house to mow the grass.

"I was standing right there and it wasn't running from me. I almost ran from it," Payne said.

"I thought it was a rat, but when it moves, it rises up and then it just walks like a dog."

"This one is smaller and paler," Byrd said last week.

She has yet to capture a photo of it.

Byrd has received advice on her Facebook page about how to properly light and focus the shot.

Byrd's granddaughter Chardinae'e Hunt captured a photo of Dimples on her cell phone last month.

"At first, I thought it was a puppy," she said, as she viewed it from a distance.

On second look, she recalled that she said: "That's not a puppy. ... I don't know what that is."

Readers have been intrigued by the gray, wrinkled, hairless rodent-looking creature.

Since a story on Dimples ran last month, more than 75 people have sent in suggestions on what type of animal it is.

Some suggest it is a capybara, the largest rodent in the world, or a chupacabra, a blood-sucking, dog-like reptile.

Many said it's a hairless nutria an animal usually found in Louisiana swamplands that is hunted for its fur.

Others say Dimples is a naked mole rat, a hideous-looking rodent known to live in East Africa.

Less frightening opinions say Dimples is a hairless muskrat, squirrel, rabbit, wombat, beaver, raccoon, woodchuck, sloth, or rat.

Mystery Creature

Edited by: Brenda Booth

permanent link: http://www.mysterycasebook.com/2011/wanted.html

source & references: Written by Gary McLendon

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20110511/NEWS01/105110328

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